A week in Bath: Led Bib & Dan Reid

There must be plenty of gigs that offer as much contrast as these two, but perhaps not so many that share (just about) a  genre ‘label’.  Led Bib, rock-jazzers, as the website of their American record label Cuneiform has it, paid a visit to The Bell early in the week and Dan Reid, sweet toned local trumpeter put the Jazz House Trio through their paces at their regular Thursday night slot at St. James Wine Vaults with a set of classic standards.

Led Bib are celebrating a decade as band with this tour to promote their latest album The People in your Neighbourhood.  They were always tight, Liran Donin‘s bass riffs bounced off the walls delivered with a swagger and swing that echoed another Led in their prime , but there’s a confidence and a freedom about the way the twin sax attack of Chris Williams and Pete Grogan built solos, often with long keening notes and slow moving melodies in contrast to the racing pulse of Mark Holub‘s drums, that’s sounds like the fruit of a long association. They were happy to allow the blend to dissolve into colour and clatter with swirling wails from Toby McLaren‘s tortured Rhodes before snapping back into a vicious groove at the blink of an eye. It was exhilarating stuff, grins and whoops all around the room. Dan Reid by contrast was delving into the Great American Song book and a series of classic standards as a platform for melodic improvising. His cross between a trumpet and flugel horn meant the warm delicate tone was there throughout with bends and sighs embellishing attractive boppish soloing. DabREidThere was no ‘just reeling it out’.  There were twists to standard readings of tune with changes of feel and and tempo, but it was the simplicity of a heartfelt reading of ballad You Don’t Know What Love Is, and a breezy swinging account of Foggy Day that made this a thoroughly enjoyable gig. The guest’s style had a distinct,thoughtful personality that drew a similar response from the band.  From high energy rock with a jazz edge and mind set to  classic repertoire and sound its been a satisfying jazzy week in Bath.

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